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Full text of "Final Leslie Gulch ACEC management plan : summary of management actions"

BLM LIBRARY 



880655 





U.S. Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Land Management 

Vale District Office 
100 Oregon Street 
Vale, Oregon 97918 



November 1995 



Final 

Leslie Gulch AC EC 

Management Plan 

Summary of Management 
Actions 







As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and 
natural resources. This includes fostering the wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the 
environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. 
The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their development is in the best interest of all our people. 
The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in Island Territories under 
U.S. administration. 



BLM/OR/WA/PL-95/050+1 792 



, 



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f f G J 57/ 



United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

Vale District Office 

100 Oregon Street 

Vale, Oregon 97918 



IN REPLY REFER TO: 

1602 



OCT 3 






Dear Reader : 

This is the final management plan for the Leslie Gulch Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern. The management actions presented here were developed 
during a process which included four opportunities for public input. Many of 
you provided comments and suggestions for the management of Leslie Gulch and I 
would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and 
efforts . 

The management actions selected include nine amendments to the Northern 
Malheur Management Framework Plan and 48 other actions. We feel that the 
array of actions selected will protect the natural values found in Leslie 
Gulch for the foreseeable future while allowing for compatible resource uses. 

Implementation of the plan was approved with a memorandum to the Vale District 
Manager from the Oregon/Washington BLM Director dated February 7, 1995. This 
document is contained in Appendix 1 . 



Sine 



yours , 




Ralph Hei 

Malheur Resource Area Manager 



Leslie Gulch, Oregon 



Layer on layer of falling pumice. 
Compressing more and more fuming, f A|j||jft#;l> 
gas pockets and columns forming, MM! 

more eruptions and red hot lava flowing, 
then cooling, and finally rain falling, 
over the eons, on spores and seeds. 
Rain eroding, wind too, freezing and 
thawing, cracking, grinding, leaching 




minerals and growing algae dyeing colorful rocks, 
becoming more colorful for us to see. 
Multitudes of fantastic shapes, what may they be? 
Juniper, grass, ferns and flowers, 
And who is the sage? 



MGO 1993 



LEGEND 

. A.C.E.C. BOUNDARY 



^ 



rrrrrri 



BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION 
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION 
(BLM MANAGED) 
PRIVATE 

ROAD 

JEEP TRAIL 

FENCE 

EXISTING VISrrOR FACILITY 

PRIVATE CABIN srrE 

SPRING 

DRAINAGE CHANNEL 



T. 25 S. 



LESLIE GULCH 

AREA OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN 




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Table of Contents 



INTRODUCTION 1 

PLANNING PROCESS 2 

PUBLIC OUTREACH 3 

PLANNING RECORDS 3 

RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT VALUES 4 

INTERIM POLICY FOR LANDS UNDER WILDERNESS REVIEW 5 

SUMMARY OF MANAGEMENT ACTIONS 8 

LAND TENURE .8 

ACCESS AND ROADS 9 

MINERALS 10 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 12 

NOXIOUS WEEDS 13 

WILD HORSES 14 

SPECIAL STATUS PLANTS .14 

WILDLIFE 15 

FIRE 16 

RECREATION 16 

MANAGEMENT PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 23 

IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE 25 

MONITORING 30 

APPENDIX 1 BLM STATE DIRECTOR APPROVAL. 32 



INTRODUCTION 

An area is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) when 
special management attention is required to protect specific relevant and 
important values or to provide public safety from natural hazards. These 
values can include important historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish and 
wildlife resources or other natural systems or processes. 

Leslie Gulch was designated as an ACEC in 1983 to protect the relevant and 
important values of high quality scenery, California bighorn sheep habitat and 
special status plant species habitat. The objectives for management within the 
ACEC are to protect, conserve and enhance these values while authorizing 
compatible activities within the area. 

The 11,653 acre Leslie Gulch ACEC drains into the Owyhee Reservoir 
approximately 50 miles south of Ontario, Oregon, and 60 miles southwest of 
Boise, Idaho. The boundary of the ACEC is generally defined by the watershed 
boundaries of Leslie, Slocum, Juniper, Dago and Runaway Gulches and their 
tributaries and private land boundaries along the south side. 

Mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk and California big orn sheep are found in the 
upland habitats of the ACEC and in adjacent lands. Upland game birds such as 
chukar partridge and California quail occupy much of the area. The rugged 
canyons also provide habitat for coyote, bobcat, reptiles, and a variety of 
non-game migratory birds. Raptors, northern flickers and white-throated swifts 
use the numerous cliff crevices and cavities, which also provide potential 
habitat for bats. 

Leslie Gulch is popular for recreational use. Developed recreational 
opportunities include boating, fishing, camping and sightseeing. The boat 
launch facility is a favored takeout point for floaters on the Owyhee Wild and 
Scenic River and provides the only launch facility on the upper Owyhee 
Reservoir. Dispersed recreational opportunities include hiking, rockclimbing, 
hunting, outdoor photography and wildlife watching. Leslie Gulch and the 
surrounding area provides one of the few places in Oregon where bighorn sheep 
can be hunted. The developed rockclimbing routes within the ACEC are highly 
challenging. 

Approximately 85% of the ACEC is made up of portions of three Wilderness Study 
Areas (WSAs) . The Slocum Creek, Honeycombs and Upper Leslie Gulch WSAs have 
all been recommended by the BLM for wilderness designation. The Oregon 
Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement identified all three WSAs as having 
a high degree of naturalness and outstanding opportunities for solitude or 
primitive and unconfined types of recreation. 

The Leslie Gulch pasture of the Three Fingers Allotment makes up approximately 
90 percent of the ACEC. The remainder of the ACEC is within the Bannock 
pasture of the same allotment. 

One 40-acre, privately owned parcel is located at the confluence of Leslie and 
Dago gulches and is surrounded by the ACEC. There is a cabin and a perennial 
spring on the parcel . 



PLANNING PROCESS 

During development of the management plan for the Leslie Gulch ACEC , there 
were four solicitations seeking public input from interested individuals, 
organizations and other government agencies. Preliminary scoping of issues was 
completed in March of 1992. Three -further -documents were mailed for public 
comment : 



iThe Analysis of Management Alternatives Leslie Gulch Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern 

This document, which was mailed for public comment in September, 1993, 
presented an array of three alternatives for management of each resource topic 
contained within the ACEC. No preferred alternative was identified. 



^Environmental Assessment OR-030-94-02 for Leslie Gulch Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern (ACEC) Draft Amendment of the Northern Malheur 
Management Framework Plan and Draft ACEC Management Plan 

This document was mailed for public comment in January, 1994. Following 
analysis of public comment, a preferred alternative was identified which 
consisted of management actions selected from the three alternatives 
identified in the previous mailing. All four alternatives were then analyzed 
for environmental impacts. This met the National Environmental Policy Act 
requirements for analysis of impacts of proposed actions. A draft Finding of 
No Significant Impact was also presented which stated that an EIS would not be 
necessary. 



^Proposed Amendment of the Northern Malheur Management Framework Plan 
and Proposed ACEC Management Plan and Environmental Assessment OR-030- 
94-02 for Leslie Gulch Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) 

Mailed in April, 1994, this document identified those management actions which 
required amendment of the Northern Malheur Management Framework Plan (MFP) , 
those actions which did not require plan amendment, and presented the amended 
EA. Changes in the EA reflected public comment. The Finding of No Significant 
Impact, which was signed on March 24, 1994, was also presented. The final 
management actions are the same those which were presented in this document. 

Five protest letters were received to the Proposed Amendment of the Northern 
Malheur Management Framework Plan and Proposed ACEC Management Plan. Of these, 
three were determined to raise issues which were relevant and had standing. 
These protests were reviewed by the BLM Director and his responses to the 
protests dated January 30, 1995 are the final decisions of the Department of 
the Interior for the protests. This document also served as the decision 
record for the MFP amendments. 

The Vale District Manager responded to other concerns which were raised in 
each of the five letters. No adjustments were made in proposed management 
actions as a result of any of the five protest letters. 



PUBLIC OUTREACH 

More than 380 of each of the final three documents were mailed and a regional 
news release announced their availability. Approximately 195 comments were 
received, and appropriate adjustments were made to proposed management as a 
result of these comments. 

Other outreach efforts included posting mail-in interest forms at four 
locations in Leslie Gulch and conducting visitor use surveys during the summer 
of 1993 . Vale District held meetings with certain user groups known to be 
affected by the plan. Meetings were held with rock climbers, grazing 
permittees, a recreational equestrian group, a native plant conservation group 
and four civic organizations. 



PLANNING RECORDS 

All planning records, including files of public comments and copies of 
protests, are available for public review at the Vale District Office. 



RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT VALUES 

Special Status Plants 

The canyons of Leslie Gulch support the highest concentration of rare plant 
species in eastern Oregon, five of which are .candidates .for listing under the 
federal Endangered Species Act. All are associated with the unusual volcanic 
ash formations found in the area. Two of these species, Ertter's groundsel 
(Senecio ertterae - Category 1) and Packard's blazing star (Mentzelia 
packardiae - Category 2), grow predominantly on the greenish-yellow volcanic 
ash-tuff talus slopes. Grimy ivesia {Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara - Category 2 
) and Owyhee clover (Trifolium owhyeense - Category 2) grow on a shallow 
volcanic ash substrate. Sterile milk-vetch {Astragalus sterilis - Category 2) 
also is found scattered on volcanic ash deposits throughout the region. Three 
uncommon plant species, Packard's sagebrush {Artemisia packardiae) , 
Mackenzie's phacelia {Phacelia lutea var. mackenziorum) and bare-stemmed 
buckwheat {Eriogonum novonudum) are also found in the canyons and bluffs of 
the ACEC. Ertter's groundsel and Packard's blazing star have been listed by - 
the state of Oregon as threatened, and grimy ivesia and sterile milk-vetch 
were proposed for addition to the state list in 1993. 

Scenic Values 

The scenery within the ACEC is dominated by spectacular geologic formations 
created by the differential weathering of the Leslie Gulch Ash-Flow Tuff 
member of the Succor Creek formation. The tuff may be 2,000 feet thick in 
some places. Its great thickness, uniformity and relative resistance to 
weathering formed the impressive cliffs, outcrops and spires that characterize 
the area. As the volcanic rocks cooled, gases trapped inside led to the 
creation of the eerie and spectacular "honeycombing" effect in some areas, and 
is responsible for many skyline windows in the rock formations. The various 
ash layers present a variety of colors ranging from yellow to green and 
multiple shades of red. The areas ' s vegetation and intrusions of more 
resistant rhyolite dikes, frequently columnar in appearance, provide 
additional contrasting texture and color to the inspiring landscape. 

Bighorn Sheep Habitat 

California bighorn sheep {Ovis canadensis californiana) are a Category 2 
candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. In the early 1900s, 
bighorn sheep in Leslie Gulch were extirpated due to domestic sheep diseases 
and unregulated hunting. Seventeen bighorns were reintroduced in Leslie Gulch 
in 1965 and a second release of 15 head was made north of the ACEC in 1987. 
The herd has grown to a population of approximately 200-240 animals which 
range outside of the ACEC, utilizing a 120-square mile area on the east side 
of Owyhee Reservoir and the Owyhee River. 



INTERIM MANAGEMENT POLICY AND GUIDELINES 
FOR LANDS UNDER WILDERNESS REVIEW 

The 1989 BLM Oregon Final Wilderness EIS and subsequent 1991 BLM Oregon 
Wilderness Study Report to the President recommended nearly all of the three 
WSAs within the ACEC be designated as components of the National Wilderness 
Preservation System. In 1992, the President submitted to Congress the same 
recommendation. Congress has no deadline to make a decision on the wilderness 
issue. There is substantial public support for wilderness designation of the 
WSAs. 

While in study status, the three wilderness study areas within the Leslie 
Gulch ACEC are managed in accordance with BLM's Interim Management Policy and 
Guidelines for Lands under Wilderness Review (IMP) (BLM Manual Handbook 8550- 
1) and Instruction Memorandum OR-94-023, "Interim Management of Wilderness 
Study Areas". In general, the only activities allowed under these guidelines 
are temporary uses that create no new surface disturbance. Proposed surface 
disturbing management actions which would require reclamation could not be 
implemented until Congress removes an area from WSA status. Surface disturbing 
actions proposed in this plan have been assessed and meet the IMP by providing 
for one or more of the following: 1) the action is the minimum necessary to 
protect or enhance wilderness values; 2) the action provides the minimum 
necessary facilities for public enjoyment of the wilderness values; or 3) the 
action is necessary for public health and safety in the use and enjoyment of 
the public lands' wilderness values. Implementation of any surface disturbing 
action within a WSA must be substantiated by appropriate monitoring. 
Monitoring results must show that the impacts on wilderness values requires a 
project's implementation as a minimum action to protect or enhance the 
wilderness resources or their uses. 

Activities that do not impair the land's suitability as wilderness or those 
that protect or enhance wilderness values are permitted in WSAs. The IMP 
requires separate analysis of impacts for the exceptions of use or surface- 
disturbing activities to ensure that wilderness values are maintained. The 
environmental analysis of the proposed action for this. ACEC Management Plan 
has determined that the management actions affecting WSAs meet the minimum 
requirements for approval under IMP. A decision to implement an approved ACEC 
management action within a WSA must have a project plan and assure the 
following: 1) the project is determined necessary and timely to protect the 
needs of wilderness values and/or is relevant to visitors' health, safety, 
and/or their enjoyment of the wilderness values and uses, and 2) the project 
size, scope and design do not exceed the extent of action necessary to meet 
the purpose and needs for responsible management of wilderness values and 
uses . 

The IMP states that livestock grazing activities, mining, and mineral leasing 
uses on lands under wilderness review may continue in the manner and degree in 
which these uses were being done on October 21, 197 6. These are 
"grandfathered" uses. Livestock grazing is grandfathered in all three WSAs. 
There are no grandfathered mining claims or mineral leases within the WSAs of 
the Leslie Gulch ACEC. 

New permanent structures, installations or trails are permitted if needed to 
preserve wilderness and resource values or provide the minimum necessary for 
public health and safety in the use and enjoyment of the public lands' 
wilderness values. Maintenance, construction or removal of existing structures 
and installations are permitted if accomplished by primitive means. New 
permanent range improvements may be approved for the purpose of enhancing 
wilderness values by better protecting the rangeland in a natural condition. 



Land use authorizations such as leases and special use permits may be 
permitted if BLM determines that wilderness values would not be impaired. 
Changes in livestock use are allowed if the changes do not cause declining 
condition or trend of the vegetation or the soil. Noxious weeds may be 
controlled by grubbing or chemicals if there is no effective alternative and 
there are no serious adverse impacts on wilderness values. 

The IMP provides for land exchanges when BLM receives lands within an area 
under wilderness review in exchange for public lands not under wilderness 
review. 

Any portions of the WSAs that are Congressionally designated as wilderness 
would be managed in accordance with BLM's Wilderness Management Policy; Title 
43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 8560 and BLM Manual 8560 (Management of 
Designated Wilderness Areas) and other applicable laws and regulations. A 
wilderness management plan would be developed for any designated wilderness 
area. All issues and needs to specifically manage the wilderness area(s) would 
be addressed in the plan. Appropriate decisions of this plan would be included 
in the wilderness management plan. 



LESLIE GULCH 

AREA OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN 




's/////ss/s//// . 



SUMMARY OF MANAGEMENT ACTIONS 

This section presents a comprehensive list of the final management actions 
selected during development of the Leslie Gulch ACEC Management Plan. Those 
actions which required an MFP amendment are noted. 

I. LAND TENURE 

A. OBJECTIVE: Protect and enhance the scenic values, special status plant and 
bighorn sheep habitat and wilderness values which are found on and influenced 
by private land surrounded by the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 1: This MFP amendment permits acquisition of the 40 
acre parcel located in T26S R45E Sec 18 SWh SEk through exchange , direct 
purchase , donation, easement, life estate or any other means. Public 
acquisition would only be completed with the cooperation of a willing 
seller. The Bureau recognizes its commitment to counties in Oregon for 
no net gain in federal land to maintain a stable economy and county tax 
base. Therefore, land exchange is the preferred method of acquisition. 

RATIONALE: The parcel has two sensitive plant species, Packards blazing 
star and Erters groundsel, provides the only reliable bighorn sheep 
water within the ACEC and has outstanding scenic values . It provides 
public vehicular access to Dago Gulch and is used by the public for 
parking and camping. This use could be terminated at any time by the 
land owner. Although no known development is planned, the landowner 
could construct additional structures on the property increasing the 
level of impact to the surrounding setting. Allowing acquisition through 
any of several means will increase the chances for successful 
acquisition of this important parcel. 



B. OBJECTIVE: Reduce the impacts of developments which are contained on the 40 
acre Dago Gulch parcel upon the ACEC ' s scenic and wilderness values. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 2: With public acquisition of the 40 acre parcel at 
the junction of Dago and Leslie Gulches, the area would be reclaimed to 
a mostly primitive state by removal of all structures and reseeding with 
native vegetation. No water would be developed at the site for public 
consumption. 

RATIONALE: Returning the area to a mostly primitive condition would 
eliminate the visual impacts of the site on the surrounding ACEC. 
Development of water at the site for public consumption would increase 
conflicts between humans and the bighorn sheep and other wildlife which 
water at the site. Developed water would also attract more recreational 
use within the ACEC. 

C. OBJECTIVE: Correct an acreage error in the Northern Malheur Management 
Framework Plan. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 3: This MFP amendment designates the Leslie Gulch ACEC 
as 11, 653 acres. 

RATIONALE: Recent measurements using new technology has resulted in an 
updated ACEC acreage of 11,653 acres. 



II. ACCESS AND ROADS 

A. OBJECTIVES: Reduce the level of impact to the scenic values and special 
status plants along the Dago Gulch Road. Reduce vehicular trespass from the 
Dago Gulch Road into the Upper Leslie Gulch and Slocum Creek Wilderness Study 
Areas . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 4: This MFP amendment proposes a locked gate and fence 
in Dago Gulch near the southern boundary of the 40 acre private parcel. 
The road will remain open for access to private land owners and for 
administrative purposes. 

RATIONALE: Vehicle traffic is impacting special status plant sites along 
the road. Vehicles are also leaving the road and driving into adjacent 
WSAs. An existing right of way to the private lands in upper Dago Gulch 
entitles the owner to use and maintain the road. 

B. OBJECTIVES: Reduce driving hazards and road congestion, disperse 
recreational use, direct use away from special status plant sites and provide 
for increased back country access. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 5: Construct up to four pullout/parking areas along 
the Leslie Gulch Road. If mitigation standards in the remainder of the 
plan are insufficient for the protection of resource values, then 
development of .a vehicle pullout/parking site will be considered. 
Additionally, a pullout/parking site may be developed if over fifty 
percent of back country visitors surveyed during the two-month highest 
annual visitation period have had their opportunities for solitude or 
primitive recreation significantly impacted. 

RATIONALE: Where parking is not provided, visitors occasionally park on 
the road surface creating traffic congestion. When parking off of the 
road, drivers are damaging vegetation, causing soil compaction, and are 
threatening special status plant species within WSAs. The distribution 
of recreational use in the ACEC is partially dependent on the 
availability of suitable parking. Visitors can be directed away from the 
more heavily used areas to reduce the impacts to wilderness resources 
and improve opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation. The 
establishment of pullout/parking areas would meet the IMP by providing 
the minimum necessary facilities for safe parking at determined 
locations so visitors may use and enjoy wilderness values in the back 
country of the ACEC. 

C. OBJECTIVES: Reduce conflicts between the Leslie Gulch Road and the special 
status plant sites located along the road. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 6: Evaluate road width, maintenance practices and 
design where the Leslie Gulch Road crosses special status plant sites to 
identify opportunities to reduce conflicts with the plants. Road 
realignment in non-WSA locations could be made for enhancing special 
status plant habitat. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 7: Road maintenance on the Leslie Gulch Road will be 
done as needed. Generally, the road is graded annually with major work 
scheduled in response to flood events. Outside special status plant 
sites, the road maintenance follows standard practices with a goal being 
to retain a graded and drained road prism. Procedures to achieve this 
include cleaning of the roadside ditches, backslopes, and crowning of 
the road surface. Roadside seeding with native plant species may be 
done to reduce weed invasion. 



MANAGEMENT ACTION 8: Drainage crossings along the Leslie Gulch Road will 
have drop structures constructed as necessary to retain existing road 
standards . Where culverts have been installed, culvert maintenance will 
follow standard practices including tail ditch maintenance and control 
of intersecting drainages to control runoff. 

RATIONALE: Slight changes to road maintenance practices or road design 
can allow recovery of lost plant habitat adjacent to the road. The 
primary concern will be to avoid further habitat losses while retaining 
the existing levels of access. 

The nature and levels of recreational use in Leslie Gulch dictate that a 
moderate standard of access be maintained. However, improving the road 
standard would encourage additional use of the ACEC which would 
adversely impact the relevant and important values of the ACEC. Storm 
events within the gulch often result in high levels of runoff that can 
seriously degrade the drainage crossings along the Leslie Gulch Road. 
Crossings and culverts must be designed and maintained to withstand high 
peak flows. Surface flow can also erode the surface of the road if not 
properly diverted. Standard maintenance practices and designs have 
evolved over long periods of time to provide for stable roads. All road 
work will consider the scenic values contained within the ACEC and must 
meet IMP guidance since the WSA boundaries are at the shoulders of the 
roads . 

D. OBJECTIVE: Control accelerated soil erosion on the Steamboat Ridge Road and 
reduce vehicular trespass into the Honeycombs WSA while retaining vehicular 
access to Steamboat Ridge. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 9: Erosion control improvements will be installed 
where accelerated erosion is occurring on the Steamboat Ridge Road. WSA 
boundary signs and increased patrolling will be used to discourage 
vehicular traffic into Honeycombs WSA. If monitoring indicates that 
unacceptable resource damage is continuing, Steamboat Ridge Road would 
be closed using emergency OHV closure procedures. 

RATIONALE: Effective closure of the road would require extensive and 
costly measures to prevent off highway vehicles from driving around the 
closure causing increased resource damage. The level of use upon the 
Steamboat Ridge Road is very low. The road is not within the WSA and 
crosses only about 0.25 mile of the ACEC. The Oregon Department of Fish 
and Wildlife uses the road for annual big game inventory. 



III. MINERALS 

A. OBJECTIVES: Protect the relevant and important and wilderness values of 
the ACEC from damage caused by plant and mineral collection. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 10: This MFP amendment closes the ACEC to vegetation 
and mineral collection without a permit. Permits may be granted for 
scientific and educational purposes provided that the relevant and 
important and wilderness values are protected. 

RATIONALE: Plant material collection is a particular threat to special 
status plants. Other plant species are an integral part of the scenery 
within the ACEC. Collection of plants for fire wood or other uses could 
adversely affect the Relevant ant Important Values of the ACEC. 



10 



The intricate rock formations are also important components of the 
scenery in the ACEC . These formations would be desirable for landscaping 
purposes . 

Extraction of these types of materials is contrary to the definition of 
wilderness, as described in the Wilderness Act, which states that a 
wilderness is an area of earth untrammeled by man, protected and managed 
so as to preserve its natural conditions. The collection of natural 
materials within WSAs for the purpose to advancing scientific or 
educational understanding of resource values of a WSA is permissible so 
long as -wilderness values are not -so impaired as to -make the area 
unsuitable for wilderness designation. 

B. OBJECTIVES: Protect the relevant and important and wilderness values of the 
ACEC from adverse impacts due to mineral exploration and development. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 11: A locatable mineral withdrawal will be pursued for 
the entire ACEC as called for in the Northern Malheur Management 
Framework Plan. Because the area to be withdrawn is larger than 5,000 
acres, a mineral withdrawal will require Congressional notice and is 
subject to veto by either house of Congress. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 12: The entire ACEC will remain closed to salable 
mineral development as called for in the Northern Malheur Management 
Framework Plan. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 13: Mineral leasing will be restricted to no surface 
occupancy as called for in the Northern Malheur Management Framework 
Plan. 

RATIONALE: Any potential mineral development scenario would not be 
compatible with the relevant and important values of the ACEC. Those 
portions of the ACEC within WSAs are protected from development as long 
as they remain in study status. In those areas outside the WSAs, 
locatable mineral activity is regulated under the 43 CFR 3809 
regulations to prevent unnecessary and undue degradation of the federal 
lands. Under these regulations impacts to the relevant and important 
values of the ACEC may not be prevented. If the ACEC were left open to 
location under the mining law, a plan of operations and submission of a 
bond will be required for any locatable mineral development proposed 
within the ACEC. However, claimants would retain the basic right to 
pursue development of claims under the Mining Law of 1872 even if they 
impact the relevant and important values for which the ACEC was. 
designated. 

Any Congressionally designated wilderness would likely be withdrawn from 
mineral activity. Congress can adjust wilderness boundaries during the 
designation process, so portions of the ACEC may not be protected. Any 
mining claims located within the WSAs while in study status would be 
subject to validity examination should any development work be proposed 
following designation as wilderness. With a valid discovery, mineral 
development could proceed within the designated wilderness area. 

Following Congressional action which does not designate the areas as 
wilderness, the WSA portions of the ACEC would again become available 
for locatable mineral development if the ACEC does not have a mineral 
withdrawal . 



11 



IV. LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

A. OBJECTIVES: Protect the special status plant species and high quality 
scenery from possible damage due to livestock grazing. Eliminate conflicts 
between livestock and those recreationists who do not want to see livestock or 
their sign in the scenic, primitive setting of Leslie Gulch. Maintain the 
active grazing preference for the grazing permittees within the Three Fingers 
Allotment . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 14: This MFP amendment closes the Leslie Gulch pasture 
to livestock grazing. Grazing will continue in the 'Bannock pasture. The 
264 animal unit months of grazing capacity in the Leslie Gulch pasture 
are moved to the other pastures of the Three Fingers Allotment. 

RATIONALE: Livestock grazing is a discretionary activity authorized by 
the BLM. Livestock removal from the Leslie Gulch pasture would eliminate 
all potential threats to special status plants associated with livestock 
grazing. These threats include destruction of habitat through trailing, 
destruction of plants by trampling and ingestion, and transport of 
noxious weed seeds. Although improving, the lower serai vegetative 
conditions of the bottom areas near the Owyhee Reservoir may improve 
more quickly with removal of livestock grazing, reducing the chance of 
weed invasion. 

Removal of livestock from the Leslie Gulch pasture helps protect the 
high quality scenery. There will be no new livestock trails, no grazed 
appearance, no livestock and no livestock sign to alter the scenic, 
natural setting within the ACEC. 

The 2 64 AUMs of active preference are accommodated elsewhere in the 
Three Fingers Allotment. There is no reduction in active preference and 
no economic impact to the grazing permittees who currently use the 
Leslie Gulch pasture. 

Livestock grazing relocation is based on The Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976, Section 202 and implementing regulations at 43 
CFR 1610.4-7. In addition, removal of livestock grazing from the Leslie 
Gulch pasture is supported by BLM policy as follows: 

1621 .31Alc--"Maintaining existing ecological stage in order to protect a 
special status species" 

1622 .31A1--" Identify public lands where livestock grazing will be 
excluded considering terrain characteristics, potential of the soil and 
vegetation, the presence of undesirable vegetation or the presence of 
other resources that may require special management or protection, ..." 

B. OBJECTIVE: Maintain vegetative condition in that portion of the ACEC in the 
Bannock pasture which may be affected by livestock. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 15: Establish additional vegetative monitoring in the 
portion of the ACEC in the Bannock pasture. 

RATIONALE: Monitoring of vegetation in the Bannock Pasture will be 
necessary to determine whether livestock grazing is having any negative 
impacts to ACEC values in that area. 



12 



c. OBJECTIVE: Ensure compliance with closure of Leslie Gulch pasture to 
grazing . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 16: Monitor Leslie Gulch pasture for compliance with 
livestock closure to determine the extent of livestock drift from 
adjacent areas. Range riders will be utilized to control livestock 
movement in unfenced areas without natural barriers. If livestock 
trespass occurs in the Leslie Gulch pasture more than 3 or 4 times per 
grazing season with more than 10 to 15 head each time, drift fences will 
be constructed in areas without natural barriers. 

RATIONALE: Monitoring will be necessary to determine compliance with 
livestock closure of Leslie Gulch Pasture and to determine whether a 
drift fence is necessary. 



V. NOXIOUS WEEDS 

A. OBJECTIVES: Control infestations of noxious- weeds found within the Leslie 
Gulch ACEC while protecting the special status plant populations from 
inadvertent impacts from weed control practices. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 17: Continue the existing combination of manual and 
chemical weed control methods. All chemical control actions will be 
done on a site-specific basis and will be monitored on-site by a 
botanist to eliminate chances for impacts to special status plant 
species. Manual control methods will be used where they are effective. 
If chemical control is necessary, application would be according to the 
Vale District Five Year Integrated Weed Control Plan and EA. Chemical 
application would use methods that apply chemical targeted to individual 
plants . 

RATIONALE: The spread of noxious weeds represents a substantial threat 
to the populations of special status plants and to the preservation of 
the natural biological setting of the ACEC and WSAs . Several species of 
noxious weeds are established within the ACEC and others are nearby. 
Since these infestations are still small, eradication remains feasible. 
Careful use of control methods will substantially reduce the potential 
for negative impacts to special status plants. Biological controls have 
not been found for whitetop or Scotch thistle. 

B. OBJECTIVE: Protect special status plant habitat by reducing the potential 
for introduction of additional noxious weed seeds to the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 18: Clean road maintenance equipment prior to moving 
into the ACEC. 

RATIONALE: Road maintenance equipment can carry plant seeds within soil 
upon the equipment. Road graders and other equipment working in weed 
infested areas can transport weed seeds to other areas when they move. 

c. OBJECTIVE: Reduce the potential sites for new infestations of weeds by 
reducing the amount of bare ground within the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 19: Seed selected sites of low serai vegetation to 
native species where noxious weeds have been found or could grow within 
the ACEC. 



13 



MANAGEMENT ACTION 20: Seed areas disturbed during road maintenance to 
native species where the seeding will not adversely impact special 
status plant habitat . 

RATIONALE: Freshly disturbed soil and other areas of bare ground provide 
natural habitat for the pioneering habit of noxious weed species. 
Vegetation established on these sites consumes the available soil 
moisture and nutrients leaving less available for newly establishing 
weed species. Potential invasion by other species, such as the knapweeds 
(Centaurea spp. ) and yellow star thistle {Centaurea solstitalis) , 
presents additional threats to -native plants. 



VI. WILD HORSES 

OBJECTIVES: Protect the special status plants within the ACEC from potential 
impacts from wild horses. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 21: This MFP amendment removes the Leslie Gulch ACEC 
from the Three Fingers Herd Management Area. Any horses which move into 
the ACEC will be relocated to the HMA or gathered and removed for 
adoption. 

RATIONALE: Although wild horse use of the ACEC is currently minimal, the 
animals have used the area in the past and could move into the area once 
again. Special status plant sites could be impacted if horses were to 
concentrate on the sites for any length of time. The 7,000 acres of the 
ACEC that are within the Herd Management Area represent approximately 
10% of the HMA. This amendment does not change the numbers of horses 
that will be maintained within the HMA. 



VII. SPECIAL STATUS PLANTS 

A. OBJECTIVE; Maintain viable populations of the five special status plant 
species found in the Leslie Gulch ACEC on all suitable habitat. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 22: If monitoring indicates that a special status 
plant species may be threatened with immediate extinction, the species 
will be introduced into identified suitable habitat. This action will be 
considered following consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and other experts. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 23: Periodically collect a limited number of seeds and 
cooperate with the Center for Plant Conservation to maintain a seed bank 
for the five special status plant species. 

RATIONALE: Reintroductions and seed collections of the special status 
plants will help insure that the species' genetic material will be 
maintained should stochastic events beyond human control severely 
deplete population numbers. 

B. OBJECTIVE: Reduce and eliminate where possible impacts of human activities 
on suitable habitat for special status plant species. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 24: Install site-specific trail segments , fences 
and/or signs if monitoring indicates a need to protect special status 
plants or their habitat. These actions will be considered if any impact 
occurs to any special status plant site. 

14 



RATIONALE: One of the primary purposes in designating Leslie Gulch as an 
ACEC was to protect the special status plant species and their habitats 
found there. Many populations of these species are accessible to both 
direct and indirect human activities. Specific management of the species 
and their habitats, which requires a broad range of measures is 
necessary to control potential threats to their existence and to 
maintain viable populations of these species within their natural 
setting. 



VII. WILDLIFE 

A. OBJECTIVES Protect relevant and important ACEC values while allowing 
management of California bighorn sheep. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 25: Base bighorn sheep transplant operations at Slocum 
Creek Campground. Require ODFW to submit a proposal to BLM for 
evaluation of environmental impacts and approval if other sites are 
needed for operations. Require ODFW to submit a proposal to BOR for 
evaluation of environmental impacts and approval if BOR withdrawn lands 
along Owyhee Reservoir are needed. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 26: Review ODFW placement of wormer blocks or feed 
supplements for bighorn sheep to evaluate impacts to ACEC values. 
Placement will require approval by BLM. 

RATIONALE; California bighorn sheep are one of the relevant and 
important values of the ACEC and management is necessary to maintain a 
healthy population. Slocum Creek Campground is already used for camping 
and no further impacts on ACEC values will result from ODFW base 
operations at that location. Negative impacts on BOR withdrawn lands 
will be considered during an evaluation process. Potential damage to 
special status plant sites or other ACEC values will be avoided through 
the evaluation process if ODFW needs other areas for operations. BLM 
review of the placement of wormer blocks and feed supplements will 
assure that there are no negative impacts to the ACEC ' s relevant and 
important values . 

B. OBJECTIVE: Avoid or mitigate conflicts between recreational use and special 
status or other wildlife species. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 27: Collect baseline data on bald eagle winter use, 
raptor species nesting sites, and other special status wildlife species 
in the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 28: Coordinate with and support ODFW inventory and 
monitoring efforts. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 29: Restrict or close areas to recreational uses 
during critical seasons if conflicts occur. 

RATIONALE: In areas where there is high recreational use, there is a 
potential for visitor/wildlife conflicts to occur. Little is known about 
the presence and distribution of special status wildlife species in the 
ACEC other than California bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep, as well as big 
game species and upland game birds, are currently monitored by ODFW. Of 
particular concern are raptor nests, bat roosts and bighorn sheep 
lambing areas that could be disturbed by recreational activities. If 
conflicts are identified, restrictions or closures will be necessary to 
protect wildlife resource values. 

15 



VIII. FIRE 

A. OBJECTIVE: Protect the relevant and important values of the ACEC from 
impacts caused by fire suppression activities while limiting the potential for 
fires to spread to adjacent private lands. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 30: Retain the Vale District Fire Management Activity 
Plan as the overall guidance for fire suppression activities within the 
ACEC. 

RATIONALE: The Fire Management Activity Plan highlights ACECs and WSAs 
for special consideration when wild fire occurs within or approaches 
them. These fires have personnel assigned who monitor the fire 
suppression efforts to control impacts to the special values noted 
within these areas. IMP guidance is incorporated into the provisions of 
the Activity Plan. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 31: The Interim Policy and Guidance for Lands Under 
Wilderness Review will continue to he followed for fire suppression 
activities within the ACEC if the WSAs are not designated as wilderness . 
This guidance applies to the entire ACEC. 

RATIONALE: The IMP for WSAs specifies that fire suppression methods be 
selected which are most effective while being least damaging to 
wilderness values. Although this guidance does not completely rule out 
the use of mechanized earth moving equipment, it requires that this 
method of fire suppression be used only as a last resort. Occasional 
extreme fire conditions may require the use of a variety of suppression 
methods. This policy is appropriate for protecting the relevant and 
important values of the ACEC. 

B. OBJECTIVE: Retain fire management alternatives which could be used to 
enhance the Relevant and Important and wilderness values found within the 
ACEC . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 32: Prescribed or naturally occurring fire may be 
utilized when specific management objectives are identified to enhance 
ACEC or wilderness values. 

RATIONALE: Low intensity fire can be used to achieve a wide variety of 
management objectives, generally aimed at manipulating vegetation. In 
Leslie Gulch these objectives will likely be to retain naturally 
occurring vegetation or to return a portion of the ACEC to a more 
natural vegetative community. 



IX. RECREATION 

A. OBJECTIVES: Protect the special status plants by reducing the potential for 
spread of noxious weeds into the area by domestic recreational livestock. 
Reduce conflicts between recreationists within the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 33: This MFP amendment eliminates recreational 
domestic livestock from the Leslie Gulch ACEC. Administrative uses for 
conducting official business, such as for removal of trespass livestock 
and search and rescue activities are allowed. 



16 



RATIONALE: Horses and other domestic livestock can transport weed seeds 
in their hooves and digestive tracts. Hay brought into the ACEC for feed 
and for bedding can also contain weed seeds. There has been nominal 
historic recreational horse use in the ACEC with most use being 
associated with big game hunting. Most of the ACEC is within 2.5 miles 
of the Leslie Gulch Road and public lands outside of the ACEC remain 
available for recreational domestic livestock use. 

B. OBJECTIVES: Protect the scenic values, special status plants and wilderness 
values of the ACEC . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 34: This MFP amendment designates the Leslie Gulch 
ACEC as day use only outside of the Slocum Creek Campground. 

RATIONALE: The back country portions of the ACEC remain readily 
available via day hiking due to the central location of the Leslie Gulch 
Road and size of the ACEC. Camping remains available within the ACEC at 
the Slocum Creek Campground and outside the ACEC on surrounding public 
lands. Dispersed camping has resulted in the proliferation of camp fire 
sites, trash, damage to vegetation due to gathering wood for fires and 
damage to special status plant sites. 

c. OBJECTIVES: Maintain the ACEC ' s scenic values and meet requirements of the 
IMP for WSAs. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 35: Within one year, rock climbers will remove or 
mitigate all fixed anchors, artificial hand holds and visual evidence of 
contrasting chalk use developed in the ACEC since 1990. This does not 
include those fixed anchors at the "Einstein" climbing site. These 
fixtures at the "Einstein" climbing site will be removed or mitigated by 
the rock climbers within five years, with a minimum of 20 percent of the 
original number of fixed anchors removed/mitigated every year. The 
removal and mitigation methods must be approved by BLM. Fixed anchors 
will be inspected by rock climbers and any unsafe fixed anchors, 
artificial hand holds and visible evidence of hand drying agents will be 
immediately r&moved by rock climbers. Until removed or mitigated, 
camouflaging techniques must be applied and maintained by rock climbers 
on all existing fixed anchors at the "Einstein" site. 

RATIONALE: The most popular recreational pursuit within the ACEC is 
leisure driving to enjoy the exceptional scenic qualities of the natural 
landscape. Sport rock climbing at the "Asylum" climbing site is a 
visually disruptive presence within view of the Leslie Gulch Road. 

Although enjoyment of climbing with fixed anchors may be enhanced when 
performed outdoors in a natural setting, pursuit of the activity or it's 
enjoyment does not require wilderness characteristics. While the 
placement of fixed anchors is preferred for safety, the establishment of 
climbing routes with fixed anchors within WSAs, considered permanent 
installations under the IMP, are not a minimum requirement to enjoy 
wilderness values and are not in compliance with the IMP. BLM approval 
of specific equipment removal or mitigation plans will allow for 
analysis of these procedures to help ensure the least impacting 
methodologies are selected. 

Continued placement of fixed anchors would cause accumulative impacts to 
the wilderness value of naturalness, and likely impact some outstanding 
opportunities for solitude with other WSA visitors in the ACEC. Over the 
long term, requirements of the IMP will be met. The visual scaring and 
disruptive contrast of fixed anchors will become less apparent at the 

17 



"Einstein" site as fixed anchors are removed or mitigated. 
Opportunities for rock climbing without the placement of fixed anchors 
and artificial hand holds will remain available throughout the ACEC. 

D. OBJECTIVE: Maintain the existing roaded natural, semiprimitive motorized 
and primitive recreational settings, and protect the ACEC ' s outstanding scenic 
values while providing limited developed recreational facilities and motorized 
access . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 36: The existing 1-ockable gate at- the Overlook will be 
retained to provide for visitor safety and resource protection. 

RATIONALE: Road damage from flash flooding within Leslie Gulch can 
create unsafe driving conditions or make the area temporarily 
inaccessible by automobiles. The ACEC could also require temporary 
access restrictions due to other unforeseeable circumstances for the 
purpose of protecting important resource values or for public safety. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 37: Specific project plans will be developed prior to 
construction of developed recreational facilities. Provision for the 
physically challenged will be a component of project plans and of 
upgraded maintenance of certain existing facilities. 

RATIONALE: Project plans will ensure design and development of 
facilities is no greater than that required to meet public needs within 
the scope of this plan, while allowing appropriate protection of the 
area's important values. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 38: A signs plan will be developed for administrative 
and informative sign placement within the ACEC. Signs will coordinate 
with a brochure/pamphlet about the ACEC. 

RATIONALE: A signs plan will determine the scope and type of signs 
required to assist resources protection and visitors' enjoyment of the 
area without negatively impacting the relevant and important value of 
the ACEC. Written literature will provide information about resource 
values, user ethics, safety, rules of use in the area, the BLM, and 
other appropriate subjects. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 39: At rock climbing sites, there will be no 
alteration of hand/foot holds, and temporary hardware will not be left 
on walls or climbing sites. 

RATIONALE: The Einstein climbing site is and other climbing sites may be 
visible to primary back country access routes and the Leslie Gulch Road. 
The artificially altered hand/foot holds and various types of climbing 
equipment result in visual impacts which are visible to many visitors to 
the ACEC. Removal of temporary equipment when climbers leave the sites 
will significantly reduce the impacts to the natural setting of the ACEC 
and to those recreationists seeking to enjoy a primitive recreational 
experience . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 40: If monitoring indicates that ACEC or wilderness 
values are being significantly impacted by climbing activities, then 
group size and frequency of use will be limited or all rock climbing 
eliminated. Impacts on cultural resources, accelerated soil erosion, 
soil compaction, or evidence of accumulative trash or human feces will 
require use limitations to preclude further impacts. A twenty percent 
increase of bare soil at a site will require employment of use 
restrictions. Visitor use may resume at sites if reestablishment of 
native plant species covers at least eighty percent of the original bare 



soil measurement. Site-specific use restrictions may be employed if over 
fifty percent of surveyed non-rock climbing visitors have had their 
opportunities for outstanding solitude or primitive recreation 
significantly impacted by rock climbing activities. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 41: There will be no competitive or commercial rock 
climbing activities in the ACEC. 

RATIONALE: Concentrated use at climbing sites could cause damage to 
vegetation, accelerated soil erosion, disturbance of wildlife or 
disturbance of cultural sites along the access trails or at the climbing 
sites themselves. These disturbances could result in visual impacts 
which exceed the visual resource management class II or exceed 
acceptable levels of impact to the wilderness values of naturalness, 
primitive setting and solitude. Organized competitive or commercial 
climbing events attract large groups of people. As with any commercial 
venture on public lands, the exploitation or promotion of rock climbing 
requires BLM authorization. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 42: The use of chalk or other drying agents by rock 
climbers will be mitigated by removal of any contrasting deposits on 
rock walls which are visible from the primary access routes used by 
other ACEC visitors before leaving the climbing sites. Removal 
techniques must leave no scarring on the rock surface. Inadequate 
cooperation by climbers may result in prohibition on the use of certain 
drying agents or further restriction on climbing activities within the 
ACEC. BLM will post trailhe.ad registers and notify known rock climbers 
in the area. 

RATIONALE: The use of drying agents on the hands is a recognized safety 
factor for rock climbers. The use of some drying agents, especially 
white chalk, results in highly contrasting deposits on the red colored 
rock in Leslie Gulch. Deposits of contrasting chalk and intentional 
marring of the rock surface are unnatural and to some visitors an 
abusive visual intrusion on the naturalness of the area. Appropriate 
substitutes are available and should be used to preserve the naturalness 
of the ACEC. The responsibility to reduce the impacts of chalk use rests 
with all rock climbers. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 43: A cooperative agreement will be developed with the 
rock climbers for implementing management actions, monitoring of use, 
minimizing resource impacts, promoting climbing ethics, developing a 
search and rescue plan and other climbing related subjects. 
Unsuccessful agreement efforts or inadequate cooperation and assistance 
from rock climbers will result in further BLM imposed restrictions on or 
complete removal of rock climbing activities in the ACEC. 

RATIONALE: An instrument is needed to coordinate with the rock climbers 
to ensure critical elements of this plan are carried out. A cooperative 
agreement would mutually benefit rock climbers and BLM. The agreement is 
an excellent tool to mutually ensure continued communication and 
cooperation, provides rock climbers a direct and active role in managing 
their own activity, and formalizes understanding for the continuance of 
rock climbing activities within the constraints of the ACEC plan. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 44: Site-specific signs or trail segments will be 
developed or restrictions on visitor use will be employed if monitoring 
indicates a need to protect specific areas. Unnecessary primitive trails 
will be closed and reclaimed. Trails will be kept to the minimum needed 
for reasonable access and resource protection. 



19 



RATIONALE: Concentrated visitor use can impact natural values. Special 
status species can be impacted or areas of accelerated soil erosion can 
be created. Trails can be used to route visitors away from sensitive 
areas. Minimizing trail development and sign placement would enhance the 
naturalness and visual qualities of the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 45: An Owyhee Breaks trailhead will be provided at an 
established pullout/parking area. Site specific trail segments will be 
established only to protect important ACEC or wilderness values. The 
Owyhee Breaks trail route will cross the ACEC south to north. This 
backcountry trail corridor will be developed if user demands indicate a 
need for providing an identifiable route from the Owyhee Reservoir 
Resort south to the Birch Creek Historic Ranch on the Owyhee National 
Wild River. 

RATIONALE: The presence of the Leslie Gulch Road makes the ACEC a 
logical location for trailhead establishment in this region's largely 
unroaded country. The Owyhee Breaks trail is designed to be a non- 
treaded, point-to-point type of hiking route. Treaded trail may be site- 
specifically established in order to protect ACEC or wilderness values. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 46: A back country visitor access permit system will 
be implemented if monitoring indicates a need for the protection of 
resource values. The permit system may be incrementally implemented, 
depending on the extent or severity of impacts occurring. 

RATIONALE: The purpose of a back country visitor access permit system is 
to limit visitor levels thus providing continued opportunities for 
solitude and to prevent damage to important values of the ACEC and WSAs . 
Back country use of the ACEC is increasing. Repeated use has created 
trails in some locations. If unacceptable impacts occur, limits may be 
needed to reduce the levels of use. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 47: Any activity requiring the BLM issuance of a 
special use permit (special recreation use permits , land use permits) or 
other special authorizations will normally be limited to a maximum of 
six persons . Specific exceptions may be allowed. 

RATIONALE: Physical impacts caused by concentrated use by larger groups 
will be reduced. Vehicle congestion and contact between parties in the 
back country will also be reduced. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 48: The present "Limited" Off Highway Vehicle use 
designation will be retained to restrict vehicle traffic to the Leslie 
Gulch and Steamboat Ridge roads. Vehicle access to Dago Gulch will be 
consistent with the existing private right-of-way and controlled with a 
locked gate located on public lands approximately 0.8 miles north of the 
existing gate. 

RATIONALE: This action protects the relevant and important and 
wilderness values of the ACEC. The IMP is met by limiting vehicle use to 
existing roads and ways within the area. The Steamboat Ridge Road is 
left open to provide access beyond the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 49: The Back Country Byway and Watchable Wildlife 
designations will be removed. The Wilderness Study Area, Special 
Recreation Management Area, and Resource Natural Area designations will 
be retained. 



20 



RATIONALE: Removal of these designations will remove the Leslie Gulch 
ACEC from BLM's national level promotional programs and reduce the rates 
of increased use expected for this area in the future. Increased visitor 
use will have additional impacts upon all of the special natural 
resource values contained within the ACEC. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 50: The restroom adjacent to the 40 acre private 
parcel will be moved to Dago Gulch and a day use parking area developed 
at Dago Gulch if the private land or easement is acquired by BLM. As an 
alternative, a restroom and pullout/parking area will be relocated to 
upper Leslie Gulch. A small pullout/parking area -will be provided at 
upper Leslie Gulch until a determination for the private Dago Gulch 
parcel is made. 

RATIONALE: Since four major drainages and two roads merge near the mouth 
of Dago Gulch, the area receives high levels of recreational use and has 
been somewhat impacted by this use. This location is the first area west 
of The Overlook which can physically accommodate any concentration of 
parked vehicles or visitor facility development. A designated parking 
area will help protect resource values by preventing off road driving 
and parking. Natural features allow for screening of developed 
facilities in this area. Visitors are currently parking off of the 
Leslie Gulch Road at upper Leslie Gulch impacting vegetation there. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 51: A vehicle access loop and approximately 10 
campsites each with a table, grill and vehicle parking will be developed 
at the Slocum Creek campground within the existing campground area. 
Revegetation with native plant species will be accomplished as 
appropriate. Table shades may be provided at no more than half of the 
tables. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 52: The existing 14 day maximum camping limit may be 
shortened for Slocum Creek to no less than seven days if the campground 
is full over fifty percent of the time during its highest two month use 
period. 

RATIONALE: Due to the area's remoteness, most reservoir boating parties 
stay longer than one day. Camping at Slocum Creek provides a level of 
security for boats and gives opportunity for extended stays by persons 
desiring to further explore and enjoy the values of the ACEC. Land based 
recreationists also utilize the camping opportunities offered at slocum 
Creek. Restricting development to the presently disturbed area keeps 
concentrated use activities over 200 feet from a known special status 
plant site near the campground. The proliferation and scarring of 
unsightly dispersed rocked fire pits is avoided and fire safety is 
enhanced by placement of fire rings. Individual campsites provide 
designed spacing between camping parties to enhance the camping 
experience, and prevents overcrowding at the campground. Shading 
provides for more bearable camping conditions during the intense summer 
heat of the canyon. . 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 53: Potable water will not be developed within the 
ACEC. 

RATIONALE: There has been little public demand for developed water 
within the ACEC. Without developed water, the average length of camping 
stay at Slocum Creek campground will likely remain shorter than if water 
were provided, thus maintaining a lower rate of increased use while 
providing more visitors the opportunity to camp in the ACEC. Day use 
visitors of the ACEC can readily carry enough water to meet their needs. 



21 



MANAGEMENT ACTION 54: Additional day use and boat trailer parking, a 
safety dock, a fish cleaning station, and a waste disposal facility 
provided for floaters of the Owyhee Wild and Scenic River will be 
provided. 

RATIONALE: These facilities are located adjacent to the ACEC on BOR 
withdrawn lands, and are administered by BLM for recreational purposes 
through an interagency agreement. This portion of the ACEC receives very 
heavy levels of use in the spring. 

River f 1-oatboa-ters are required to carry out and properly dispose human 
solid waste from the wild river corridor. Presently, approximately 65 
percent of the Owyhee River floatboaters take out at Leslie Gulch. 
Plastics and other trash are very difficult to remove from vault 
restrooms. Since the river floating season is short, the disposal unit 
may be an annually placed temporary structure. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 55: Temporary overnight facilities may be provided at 
the Slocum Creek Campground for a BLM visitor contact/resource 
protection employee. This facility will be used during the peak 
recreational use season. 

RATIONALE: The ACEC is a two hour drive from the BLM district office. 
Temporary housing will improve BLM's efficiency when providing for 
visitor services, initiation of a permit system, resource protection and 
monitoring of visitor .uses and resource values. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 56: Camp fires will be restricted to the Slocum Creek 
campground. 

RATIONALE: Destruction and damage to the ACEC ' s limited amount of dead 
woody vegetation will be reduced. The visual character of the natural 
landscape will be protected by eliminating the contrasting presence of 
fire rings, charcoal and destroyed vegetation. 



E. OBJECTIVE: Maintain the suitability of the wilderness study areas for 
inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System. 

MANAGEMENT ACTION 57: Comply with the requirement of the Interim 
Management Policy and Guidelines for Lands Under Wilderness Review. 

RATIONALE: BLM is required by law to comply with this guidance. 



22 



MANAGEMENT PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 

Implementation of the actions described in the proposed MFP amendments and the 
proposed ACEC Management Plan, as well as ongoing maintenance in the ACEC, 
have been listed in the following table. Five time frames have been 
identified: immediate, short-term, long-term, ongoing, and as needed. 
Immediate actions are those which will be implemented within one year after 
the final plan goes into affect. Short-term actions should be completed within 
two to five years after plan approval. Long-term actions should be completed 
within six to ten years after plan approval. Ongoing actions are those that 
are currently taking place and will continue, or those actions which will 
continue after immediate implementation. As Needed actions have no scheduled 
time frames and will only be implemented if monitoring indicates a need for 
the action. 

Approximate costs in 1996 dollars for specific actions are given in the 
appropriate time frame column. An X indicates that the action will be 
completed within that time period with no cost. 

Implementation of the identified management actions will be an element of the 
Vale District's annual budgetary planning process. Distribution of limited 
funding will be based on prioritizing actions District-wide. 



23 



Table 1 



IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE AND PROJECTED ("'STS 
Time Frames and Projected Costs (1996 dollars) 



Management Action 


Immediate 


Short-term 


Long-term 


Ongoing 


As Needed 


MA-l 


Pursue acquisition of 40- 
acre parcel 








$15,000 plus 
purchase 




MA-2 


Reclamation on 40 acre 
private parcel, if acquired 










$15,000 


MA-3 


Correct ACEC acreage 


X 










MA-4 


Gate installed at Dago Gulch 


$2500 










MA- 5 


Construction of up to 4 
pull-out/parking areas 










$2000/each 


MA- 6 


Identify opportunities to 
reduce road maintenance and 
special status plant 
conflicts 


$500 










MA- 7 


Maintain roads 






$2500/year 






MA-7 


Roadside seeded with native 
plants 










$1000-5000 


MA- 8 


Drainage crossings 
maintained or improved 










$5000- 
70, 000 


MA- 9 


Erosion control on Steamboat 
Ridge Road 


$500 










MA- 9 


Increased patrols and WSA 
boundary signs on Steamboat 
Ridge Road 


$1000 










MA-10 


Close ACEC to vegetation and 
mineral gathering 


X 










MA-11 

MA-12 


ACEC withdrawn from 
locatable and saleable 
mineral development 


$10,500 


$4000 








MA-13 


Mineral leasing in ACEC 
restricted to no surface 
occupancy 








X 





25 



Management Action 


Immediate 


Short-term 


Long-term 


Ongoing 


As Needed 


MA-14 


Remove livestock grazing 
from Leslie Gulch pasture 


$3500 










MA-15 


Establish additional 
vegetative monitoring in 
Bannock pasture 


$200 






$2 0/year 




MA-16 


Construct drift fence 










$2000-$4000 


MA-16 


Range use supervision 








$1750/year 




MA-17 


Existing combination of 
manual and chemical weed 
control 


$1000-4000 






$1000-4000/ 
year 




MR- 17 


Monitor for weeds 


$500 






$500/year 




MA-18 


Clean road maintenance 
equipment prior to moving 
into ACEC 








$500/year 




MA-19 
MA-20 


Seed native plants at 
selected sites for weed 
control 


$1000-3000 








$1000-3000 


MA-21 


Remove ACEC from Three 
fingers HMA 


X 










MA-22 


Special status plant 
monitoring 


$1000-5000 






$2000-5000/ 
year 




MA-22 


Introduce special status 
plants into suitable habitat 










$2000 


MA-23 


Collect special status plant 
seeds for seed bank 


$500 






$500 /year 




MA-24 


Install site-specific trail 
segments, fences, signs to 
protect special status 
plants or their habitat 










$500-15, 000 


MA-25 


Base ODFW bighorn transplant 
operations at Slocum Creek 
Campground. Other sites 
evaluated and approved prior 
to operations 










$1700/site 


MA-26 


ODFW placement of wormer 
blocks/feed supplements 
evaluated and approved by 
BLM 










X 


MA-27 


Special status wildlife 
surveys 




— 




$500/year 


$1000- 
10, 000 



26 



Management Action 


Immediate 


Short-term 


Long-term 


Ongoing 


As Needed 


MA- 2 8 


Support ODFW wildlife 
inventory and monitoring in 
ACEC Campground . Other 
potential sites evaluated 
and approved prior to 
operations 








X 




MA- 2 9 


Restrict or close areas 
where wildlife/recreation 
conflicts occur 










$0-3500 


MA- 3 


Retain Fire Management 
Activity Plan 


X 










MA-31 


Manage fire suppression as 
per IMP 








X 




MA- 3 2 


Use of prescribed fire 










X 


MA-33 


Removal of recreational 
domestic livestock use 


$1500 










MA-34 


Dispersed recreation limited 
to day use only. Camping 
only at Slocum Creek 
Campground 


$500 








$100-500 


MA-35 


Existing fixed anchors only 
at Einstein climbing site. 
Climbing routes at Einstein 
closed over 5-year period 


$2000 


$4000 








MA-36 


Maintain gate at Overlook 










$100-500 


MA- 3 7 


Develop project plans for 
developed facilities 




$10,000 






$0-7000 


MA-38 


Develop/maintain a Signs 
Plan 


$3500 








$0-3500 


MA- 3 8 


Develop/maintain ACEC 
literature 


$10,000 








$10,000- 

20,000 


MA-39 


Rock-climbing hand/foot 
holds not altered, temporary 
hardware removed 


$3000 


$7000 








MA-40 
MA-41 


Rock climbing group size and 
frequency limited. No 
competitive or commercial 
rock climbing. 










$0-3000 


MA-42 


Chalk, other drying agent 
use mitigated 


$500 






$500/year 




MA-43 


Develop and implement 
cooperative agreement with 
rock climbers 


$7000 


$5000 









27 



Managem 


ent Action 


Immediate 


Short-term 


Long-term 


Ongoing 


As Needed 


MA- 44 


Site specific signs or trail 
segments developed and 
maintained to protect 
significant resource values 










$500-20,000 


MA-45 


Owyhee Breaks trailhead at 
established pullout/parking 
area 










$2000 


MA-46 


Back country visitor access 
permit system implemented 
and maintained 










$10, 000/ 
year 


MA-47 


Activity requiring special 
use permits normally limited 
to six person maximum 










$500-3000/ 
each 


MA- 4 8 


Vehicle traffic restricted 
to Leslie Gulch and 
Steamboat Ridge roads 


$500 










MA-49 


Back Country Byway and 
Watchable Wildlife 
designations removed 


$200 










MA- 5 


Move restroom to Dago Gulch 
and maintain; develop day 
use parking area if private 
land acquired 




$20,000 




$1000/year 




MA- 51 


Campsites developed and 
maintained at Slocum Creek 
Campground 




$30, 000 




$5000/year 




MA-52 


Shorten 14 day maximum 
camping limit at Slocum 
Creek Campground 










$500 


MA-53 


No development of potable 
water 








X 




MA-54 


Additional parking, safety 
dock, fish cleaning, and 
waste disposal facility 
provided and maintained at 
boat launching area 




$60,000 




$4500/year 




MA-55 


Temporary overnight 
facilities provided and 
maintained at Slocum Creek 
Campground for BLM employee 


$30, 000 






$3000/year 




MA-56 


Camping and ground fires 
only at Slocum creek 
campground 


$500 








$100-500 



28 



Management Action 


Immediate 


Short-term 


Long-term 


Ongoing 


As Needed 


MA-57 


Implement IMP, monitor 
special values and 
visitation, provide resource 
and public protection 
measures 


$9000 


$120,000 


$175,000 







29 



MONITORING 
EFFECTS OF MANAGEMENT ACTIONS 

Monitoring will be developed and implemented to evaluate the effectiveness of 
actions taken in the Leslie Gulch Management Plan to meet management 
objectives. As data are collected, implementation of additional analyzed 
actions may be necessary. Data may also indicate that a revision of this plan 
is necessary in order to refine goals and objectives or to consider other 
management options . Below is a list of monitoring activities that will occur 
with implementation of the Leslie Gulch Management Plan. Specific methods and 
locations of monitoring studies are on file at the Vale District office. 

Management actions will be implemented as determined by annual review by an 
interdisciplinary team. Prioritization will be determined by BLM policy and 
resource protection needs as determined by the changing resource conditions 
within the ACEC . 

ACCESS AND ROADS 

♦ Periodically inspect Dago Gulch for vehicle trespass beyond the locked gate. 

♦ Annually inspect the Steamboat Ridge Road for accelerated erosion and 
correct as necessary. 

♦ Annually inspect areas where the Leslie Gulch Road crosses special status 
plant sites for negative impacts to the plants by the road. Work with road 
maintenance personnel as necessary to correct conflicts. 

MINERALS 

♦ Periodically check the ACEC for mineral related activity. This activity 
would be in trespass following mineral withdrawal. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

♦ Monitor trend of perennial vegetation condition in the portion of the ACEC 
within the Bannock pasture. This will be completed by installation of at least 
one permanent photo plot and one 100 foot line intercept transect. 

♦ Use supervision will be made at a minimum of once a month to detect 
livestock trespass. More frequent checks may be made when livestock are 
present in adjacent pastures. 

NOXIOUS WEEDS 

♦ Conduct at least two field trips annually in spring and early summer for the 
purpose of identifying and recording infestation sites and directing control 
efforts . 

♦ Monitor effectiveness of control measures for white- top, Scotch thistle, and 
other invasive weeds. 

WILD HORSES 

♦ Wild horse activity will be monitored during livestock use supervision 
monitoring. Use supervision will be made at a minimum of once a month. More 
frequent check may be made when livestock are present in adjacent pastures. 

♦ Conduct aerial inventory of wild horses annually. 



30 



SPECIAL STATUS PLANTS 

♦ Implement monitoring studies at selected locations that will track viability 
of known populations of the five sensitive plant species within the ACEC . 
Specific methods of monitoring and locations of studies are on file at the 
Vale District Office. 

♦ Continue inventories within the ACEC to determine distribution and numbers 
of the sensitive plant species. 

♦ Conduct general ecological monitoring at specific sites where special status 
plants are known to occur which will help give understanding of natural 
processes and causes of population trends for sensitive status plant species . 

♦ Assess yearly impacts of human activities, including but not limited to 
hiking activities, road repair work, and camping, at selected locations of 
sensitive plant species. 

WILDLIFE 

♦ Monitor the ACEC for winter use by bald eagles and other raptors with a 
minimum of one winter survey (December 1- February 1) when roads are passable. 

♦ Monitor for prairie falcon, golden eagle, and other raptor species of 
concern during nesting season. Any nests that are located will be monitored 
for human disturbance. 

♦ Conduct inventory and monitoring for special status wildlife species as 
budget constraints permit. Areas of high recreational use will have the 
highest priority for survey. If special status species are found, appropriate 
monitoring will be developed and implemented. 

FIRE 

♦ Any wild fire within or near the ACEC will have a Resource Advisor assigned 
who will advise the Incident Commander concerning resource values in the area. 
Provisions of IMP, the Vale District Fire Management Activity Plan and this 
plan will be followed. 

RECREATION 

♦ Maintain records of the volume of motorized and nonmotorized recreational 
use. Emphasize selected popular, sensitive resource, concentrated and 
adversely impacted user sites and locations. Recreational uses monitored 
include road travel, camping, and various day use land and water-based related 
activities . 

Monitoring methods will include road and trailhead mechanical counters, 
voluntary sign- in registers, patrols, visitor use surveys, plot photography, 
comparative physical resource evaluation, and tracking of issued use permits. 

♦ Evaluate user satisfaction, preference, trends, demography and economic 
impacts by conducting periodic visitor use surveys for both motorized and 
nonmotorized land and water-based activities. 

Elements of measure include retention and enjoyment of the ACEC's relevant and 
important values, meeting wilderness values and providing quality recreational 
camping and day use experiences . Evaluation elements for measuring economic 
impacts include duration of stay, user patterns/histories and demography of 
the ACEC's visitors. 

♦ Conduct patrols and checks, as necessary, for compliance with the provisions 
of this plan. 



31 



APPENDIX I 



4 

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR . ^q 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT ^ <^> <^ 

Oregon State Office *£* <?^ ^ 
P.O. Box 2965 <^ ^a O 

Portland, Oregon 97208 ^ # 



In Reply Refer to: 

1610/1785 (933) 



~F3 -7 !995 



v» 




Memorandum 

To: District Manager, Va 

From: State Director, Oregon/Washington 

Subject: Implementation of the Northern Malheur Plan Amendment for the Leslie 

Gulch Area of Critical Environmental Concern 

In April, 1994, the proposed plan amendment and environmental assessment was distributed 
to the public for review with the opportunity to protest under 43 CFR 1610.5-2. As a result, 
three valid protests were received from various individuals or groups. After careful 
consideration, the Director has responded to the germane portions of the protests and 
affirmed all aspects of the decisions. Since a member of the Director's field planning staff 
personally toured the area, affirmation of our proposed resource protection actions and 
procedural review of alternatives and environmental consequences is noteworthy. A copy of 
each of the Director's responses is attached and should be made a part of your official 
planning record, along with this memorandum. Please note that the portions of the original 
protests which were found to be without formal standing or not germane to the plan 
amendment should receive a formal District Manager response. This would also be 
appropriate for the other party who failed to demonstrate standing to protest, but should 
receive more feedback than a protest rejection notice. One option would be to forward that 
party a copy of the similar protest response to the group with comparable concerns. 

In accordance with 43 CFR 1610.3-2(e), the proposed plan amendment was forwarded to the 
Honorable Barbara Roberts, Governor of Oregon for her staff review for consistency with 
State plans, programs and policies. Based on the absence of any known letter or contact by 
the Governor's Natural Resource Assistant or the Governor's Forest Planning Team, it 
appears there are no known inconsistencies or objections from the State. 

We also understand there were no protests or appeals filed on the proposed Leslie Gulch 
Area of Critical environmental Concern Management Plan, included on pages 19-34 of the 



April 1994 document. Since there is no further reason to modify, further amend or defer the 
proposed actions in the April 1994 document, it is unconditionally approved and you are 
hereby authorized to implement all aspects of the decision relating to land tenure adjustment, 
road maintenance and closures, visitor use and recreational livestock use restrictions, 
domestic livestock use restrictions, wild horse herd management and public information and 
interpretative improvements. Since the environmental assessment and decision record clearly 
anticipated the necessary actions required to meet the plan objectives, no further 
environmental analysis or decisionmaking steps are anticipated. We suggest that your staff 
utilize an inexpensive news release to notify all addressees on the MFP mailing list and other 
interested publics that the proposed decision has been approved and affirmed by the Director 
without change. We also recommend noting the status of the decision in your FY 1995 
Malheur Resource Area Planning Update report. 

Please provide OR-933 with copies of your news release or other mailer which indicates our 
decision has been affirmed. Please extend our appreciation to your stafr for the close support 
and cooperation in developing this plan to provide appropriate resource protection, visitor 
services and public safety while protecting and enhancing Leslie Gulch resources. Please 
keep the Oregon State Office staff informed of your progress. 




Director ' 



Associate State Director 

1 Attachment 
1 - Director's responses to three protests (11 pages) 

cc: WO-480 (406-LS) (w/o attachments) 

ID-930 (Attention: Wallace Evans) (w/o attachments) 
OR-912 (Attention: Chris Strebig) (with attachments) 
OR-931 (with attachments) 



UNITED STATES 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

Vale District Office 

100 Oregon Street 

Vale, Oregon 97918 

OFFICIAL BUSINESS 

PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE, $300 



FORWARDING AND ADDRESS 
CORRECTION REQUESTED